Computer users are advised to take the same level of precaution when dealing with computer virus hoaxes as they do with real viral threats. This false information is propagated through a chain email that contains a message of warning regarding a supposed a virus that is potentially dangerous to one’s computer or system. The object of the said email is to compel the reader to action with regards to the potential threat by forwarding the email message to everyone they know.
Although there is no real danger posed by these computer virus hoaxes, many have fallen into this trap. Aside from encouraging the recipient to be cautious about a particular virus that could harm their system, most of these chain e-mails contain a list of instructions that a user must perform if they wanted to get rid of the virus themselves. It typically involves deleting a particular system file off the computer in what is supposedly a step taken to eliminate the virus. In most cases, the victim realizes too late that such action only causes damage to their computer and not get rid of the virus.
Due to the serious nature of the matter, it is important for computer users to learn to identify computer virus hoaxes. The content of the email is often sensational with the intent of compelling the reader into action, although the consequences discussed in the message seem exaggerated. This is intentionally done to incite fear in the reader’s mind. Also, do not be tricked when they use reputable organizations or companies since this is done to build credibility to the message of warning.
Users are encouraged to look at leaked out virus hoaxes in the past as a way to understand how they work. Dylan Nicholas’ Antichrist virus hoax was highly popular because it was claimed to be developed by both McAfee and Microsoft. It was most famous for its sensational use of subject line and those who fell victim to it resulted in damage to the zeroth sector of their computers.
The Invitation attachment virus was also much talked about when it first came out in 2006. It was created by Jim Flanagan wherein it warned users of the danger that the Olympic Torch virus would cause on their computer. Any email that contained the invitation attachment are said to introduce a virus into the system, or so the hoax claims.
The best step to take when dealing with computer virus hoaxes is to delete emails containing them. Avoid sending the email to other users because it could facilitate in the achievement of the creator’s malicious propaganda. Instead, warn people about the common characteristics of a virus hoax to put an end to such activities.
Make sure to take preventive measures when handling virus alarms. Most large corporations have an IT department team that is skilled enough to handle such threats, if there are any. End users with little knowledge about computer viruses are discouraged from dealing with the situation on their own, or following the directions cited in the computer virus hoax email.
Those who wish to protect their computers against computer virus hoaxes can use this information to make a better judgment on what to do and what not to do in case they receive this kind of email. Or else, it can cause the same amount of damage as real viruses would, if not more.